UPDATE — 1/28, 2:00 p.m. EST: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) took to the political show circuit Sunday to endorse the White House’s latest immigration reform proposal and denounce members of his own party for making outrageous accusations against President Trump’s policy goals.
“We don’t need that type of rhetoric on either side, from Nancy, Paul Ryan or anybody else,” Manchin told CNN in response to the House minority leader’s comment that Trump wants to “make America white again.”
Later, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Manchin called the White House immigration plan “a good starting point.” The West Virginia senator said a group of moderate congressional Democrats and Republicans will meet Monday to discuss the president’s proposal.
With the recent government shutdown, there has been a lot of controversy regarding what deals were made, what caused the funding measure at first to fail and what is going to happen in the upcoming weeks.
One of the major controversies regards the supposed deal Senate Democrats made with President Trump to fund the border wall in exchange for a solution on an expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has stated an agreement made with President Trump Friday, Jan. 19, was pulled on Sunday due to the president not following through on his end. According to Sen. Schumer, the deal involved Democrats agreeing to appropriate funds for border security in exchange for the president’s support on a bill that would avoid a government shutdown and protect DACA recipients, known as Dreamers.
Schumer said the president failed to uphold his end of the bargain and the offer was subsequently rescinded.
“The thought was that we could come to an agreement that afternoon, the president would announce his support, and the Senate and the House would get it done and it would be on the president’s desk,” Schumer said Tuesday. “He didn’t do that. So we’re going to have to start on a new basis and so the wall offer is off the table.”
While it is clear there was a meeting, what exactly occurred remains uncertain. Some accounts include exact dollar figures towards funding the wall being discussed, while other accounts claim that the idea was loosely considered and no specific promises were made.
White House spokesman, Hogan Gidley, has publicly commented on Fox News that the Schumer offer “never existed”.
“You can’t rescind money you never really offered in the first place,” he continued.
Immigration legislation has become one of the most important debates in Congress with the White House having substantial influence on congressional negotiations
Democrats are focusing on protecting Dreamers which has caused division within the party’s caucus. Some Democrats are willing to go far enough to funding portions of the border wall in hopes of protecting illegal childhood arrivals, while others feel that the wall cannot be funded under any circumstances.
On Monday, an agreement was reached between the two parties to end the shutdown with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promising to take up immigration legislation within the next month.
There has been some concern facing McConnell’s commitment to upholding his end of the agreement. Past promises made to GOP members have been broken, so both parties are working quickly to find a legislative solution.
The White House set the framework for such a compromise late Thursday, offering a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers for $25 billion in border wall funding, a significantly reduced chain migration program and increased enforcement and security at U.S. ports of entry and within the country.
Rejecting the proposal outright on Friday, Schumer said the White House’s plan “uses (Dreamers) as a tool to tear apart our legal immigration system and adopt the wish list that anti-immigration hardliners have advocated for for years.”
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded on Twitter, saying the Senate’s top Democrat values “open borders & sanctuary cities over law & order and popular, common sense reforms.”
During his return to the U.S. after a two-day visit at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump later tweeted:
DACA has been made increasingly difficult by the fact that Cryin’ Chuck Schumer took such a beating over the shutdown that he is unable to act on immigration!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2018
Editor’s note: This article was updated @ 5:34 p.m. EST.
[Politico] [The Hill] [Bloomberg] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Alex Wong/Getty Images via CNN]